Friday, February 25, 2005


I didn't hear it, but allegedly Canseco was on the Chris Meyer show and he was espousing his usual crap about how steroids are not bad, etc. I know you are thinking, no big deal, we've heard that before and I'm tired of all this steroids mess.

The best part about it was he said something to the affect of look what it could have done for the career of Ben Grieve. That Ben Grieve was an Oakland Rookie of the Year just like he and Big Mac, but Grieve never developed the power. Had he juiced, he could have had a monster career. Maybe we should write our own book.


On the Sox rings and that they will be making 500 of them:

"Are they giving one to everyone who has played since 1918?"

Interesting quote from someone who has zero MLB World Series rings.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Thoughts From A Fan

I know. It's been everywhere. But, I can't resist. This will be my "airing it out" blog.

It is difficult to look at certain players in ANY camp and not notice that "they look a bit smaller." But one must, because they do. Now, perhaps, they all got together and said, "Let's all go on a diet so that the public cannot tell who roided and who did not." This, however, is highly unlikely. One thing is for certain. I wish that I could drop 20 pounds over the next two and a half months.

But, while we are on this very tired subject allow me to throw something out there that the mainstream media HAS NOT been discussing. I will type this slowly so that they'll be able to follow this blog...PITCHERS WERE DOING IT, TOO!

I understand that the batting stats went through the roof...but...isn't it possible that some guys (Sturtze..remember his attack against Kapler?... and others) found 5+MPH on their fastballs thanks to enhancement. Isn't it possible that some fading pitchers were able to hang around? That some younger pitchers were very strong?

I wonder if we'll see a reduction in the "Tommy John" surgeries now that (using physics here) the pressure on a lot of elbows will be less.

Irony? How about all the talk (during the HR race, and overall power surge) of the "ball being juiced"?

Is it strange to anyone else that the 'roid rage came of age just following the strike?

By the way, the other night on ESPNClassic, I watched a report from "60 Minutes" from a few years ago. An ex-DL from the Atlanta Falcons was talking about steroid usage (among other drugs in the NFL). Want to hear how players got around the testing? This shows what people are willing to go through for this stuff. When called, players would fly to "Testing Areas" with their doctors. Minutes before being tested, players would urinate, then have their doctors catheterize other people's "clean" urine in to their bladder. Thus, their test was clean!

I think that clears this out of my system. I was just tired of hearing of Bonds (who should not be allowed in the Hall of Fame until Rose is), Canseco, and others.

That's it on roids...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

This is interesting

Its the Gender Genie.

You put some text into the box and then it tells you if they think the writer is male or female. Just for fun I put in some old emails and some of my posts and thankfully they all came up male. Matt's last entry was also male. Jeremy's item on the Jayson Stark article was (by a large margin) male. AAG had a female entry but only one - and it was the firs one which was very short. An email from my boss (a female) was listed as female.

I can't wait to find a posting here from one of you that turns out to be female....

This is interesting

Its the Gender Genie.

You put some text into the box and then it tells you if they think the writer is male or female. Just for fun I put in some old emails and some of my posts and thankfully they all came up male. Matt's last entry was also male. Jeremy's item on the Jayson Stark article was (by a large margin) male. AAG had a female entry but only one - and it was the firs one which was very short. An email from my boss (a female) was listed as female.

I can't wait to find a posting here from one of you that turns out to be female....

Since Matt has been MIA

I will throw up a Van Nortwick inspired post:

I think that the thoughts were that last year's Yankees team would be the best ever. I remember comparisons to the '27 Yankees (although, if I recall the Sox outhit them...)...Here is my take on this year's Yankees...If they get Johnson.

They will win the division, but not in the playoffs...My reasons?

Mussina...the only reason he was effective in the playoffs as a starter (the first time in his career) was because he missed a big portion of the season and was rested (that won't happen again)...

Wright...will suck
Pavano...13 wins, a bunch of no decisions...he's a nibbler...these guys get eaten up by teams that are patient.

Who am I missing? Kevin Brown???

Randy Johnson will be great for doubt about that...I can't wait for the first Johnson/Schilling showdown...

So pitcher by pitcher.
Johnson vs Schilling...maybe (and I mean maybe) a slight edge to Johnson (Schill's been in the AL for a year, knows a lot of the hitters and had a great year against lineups with a DH)
Wells vs Mussina...When healthy this is close...What would Wells' record have been with the Sox offense last year? Probably 23-24 wins
Miller vs Wright...Both with injury histories, but I give this to Miller
Clement vs Pavano...can't call this...numbers say Pavano, but who knows?
Brown vs Wakefield/Arroyo...Advantage Sox. Remember Brown's head will explode and Arroyo has a chance to win all 32 of his starts.

So, even with the addition of Johnson, we match up...maybe even are a little better. We have one extra (two extra if you count Halama) starters. Our bullpen is better. Our defense is better. We'll see about offense...Sheffield won't last the year with injuries without the cream....And we could still add a Ben Sheets at the break...

It's hard to say that we've improved our team (being the WS Champs and all) but I have to say that we have...

Monday, February 21, 2005

More evidence that Millar = glue

I posted this a while back, but I read this
hot stove story
today and it makes my point precisely.

Yeah, that about sums it up...

Jayson Stark wrote a pretty good summary of the off-season, which by the way has felt incredibly short. Oh yeah, that's because the Red Sox were World Champions last year!

A couple of items stuck out to me, for what ever reason.

1. 2nd best improved team in the NL - Giants? I must have missed something - who did they get? I am not doubting it, I just can't honestly think of one player off the top of my head the Giants have added.

2. 2nd worst free agent signing - J.D. Drew and Derek Lowe (5/4 years for $91 MM). Wow, that sucks! (They voted Eckstein's 3 year $10.25 MM as the worst) Eckstein isn't a great investment and I would agree it's not a good signing, but it's clearly a stop gap until someone better gets on the market - or maybe they have some one developing in the minors.

3. My favorite section, "Most innovative injuries in the offseason", it's always worth a good laugh or two. Plus it features our boy Rocco.

4. Finally, he mentions Anna Benson's warning to his husband as one of the most bizarre things to happen in the off-season. I think that pre-dated the blog, but I am proud that we jumped on that story right away!

President's Day

So I know I'm sounding like a broken record always linking to the same guy, but Murray Chass has a really good article bashing the media about the whole A-Rod-Vs.Red Sox thingie.

"Every player who spoke with reporters last week was asked what they thought of Rodriguez, whether they agreed with what Nixon said. Extended the invitation, some players replied with negative comments, but most of what they said in response to the invitations was far less severe than the resulting articles reflected."

Make sure to check out the headline.

Friday, February 18, 2005

A post not related to steroids, or wieners

Somehow the guy over at Firebrand of the AL found a bunch of Korean cartoons on MLB. They kick ass. Somehow you don't need to know any Korean to get most of the jokes. (They're probably better that way.) The one on the Red Sox is probably the best. To see the others, change the "65" in the url to another number, 60-81. Yanks are 80, Twins 78, Cubs 64 (the Nomar and Wood/Prior ones are really good). For the 2004 postseason, check out numbers 52-58.

Great news!

According to Jose Canseco, "one definite side effect of steroid use is the atrophying of your testicles. But here's the point I want to emphasize: what happens to your testes has nothing to do with any shrinking of the penis. That's a misconception."

Oh thank god.

(PLEASE let the season start soon. We're obviously running out of things to talk about. The last two posts have been about male genitalia. And only one of those posts was by Jeremy.)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Possibly the biggest story missed to date....

Yeah... Angry-anonymous-guy it's that big bad mean reptile making some big bad bold comments again! Arrrrr.... (anonymous guy you rock for reading our blog - I just like to mix it up)

This time, the news is tragic. Did everyone see the article in the NYT that should have had the headline:

"Mullet wearers of the world mourn; Hockey Season Cancelled and Johnson Cleaned up by Evil Empire"

Instead it was something like:

"Johnson starts warming up for Schilling".

Geez, the least they could have done is:

"The Big Unit is Warming up for Schilling" or maybe,
"The Big Unit is Ready for Schilling", or really push it with,
"The Big Unit has got his eye on Schilling" or maybe even,
"Is Schilling Ready for the Big Unit?"

I think the Evil Empire should get Koch as a middle reliever. Then we could read, "Torre pulls out Johnson for Koch". Man... I am asinine... Anonymous guy you are so right...

Larussa. Explosion.

With Larussa going nuts over Canseco's naming of McGwire, it really makes me wonder on that one. Isn't he really staking a lot of his credibility (LaRussa) on the issue.

Matt thinks McGwire was an obvious user. And sure, I think there were signs of it. But maybe he did work hard. Maybe he used Andro and creatine (all 100% legal and allowed by baseball at the time) and worked his ass off.

I read about 1/4 of the Canseco book - of course I did not buy it as I don't want to give that clown my $$. It is about a 6th grade writing level - 1/4 of the book read in about 45 minutes at BN while the wife got her haircut. And I'll tell you, Canseco appears to be jealous of Big Mac. In 50 pages, he took no fewer than 3 shots at him. Saying how Mac got preferential treatment his entire career, etc. Which, I think, is a load of crap. McGwire used to be surly with media and it wasn't until he embraced them 3/4 into '98 and subsequently broke the record that he became an icon and media darling.

What does it all mean? Who knows? I'm glad we will have some real baseball soon. This is a media story that I wish would go away. And hopefully it will once the season starts.

Random Yankee Thoughts

1) With a couple exceptions (like Quantrill, whoop-de-doo), the Yanks have not been defending ARod from all the ridiculous crap a couple Sox players have been throwing his way. Posada: "It's not my problem, so don't make it my problem." Jeter: "I have nothing to do with that one. That's Trot and Alex....Alex will be here soon. Ask him if he's offended by it." The Times and the Daily News imply it's because they don't really like him; of course George King says they're not responding because the Yankees are too good for that. I don't think I agree with either; I think they honestly just want to stay out of it. (As did Wakefield and Foulke when asked.)

2) Still, Selena Roberts (a writer whom I rarely agree with, except when she's writing about steroids) makes a pretty interesting point:

"All of this makes Steve Phillips's '24-plus-one' remark in 2000 seem clairvoyant instead of crazy. The Mets general manager that courted A-Rod that year, Phillips pulled out of the race, citing the excessive perks requested by the agent Scott Boras. Like a billboard presence in the city. Like a private plane. Like a separate marketing staff.

'I just hope the people in New York don't believe that silliness,' Rodriguez said at the time.

If New Yorkers believed Rodriguez then, they may be wondering now. Not because of any diva-like fits, but because A-Rod has yet to reveal himself as the real deal."

3) I think the big news about Nixon's diatribe, which went relatively unnoticed, was all the nice things he had to say about Giambi:

"I don't feel sorry for Giambi but I do have a great amount of respect for him, for what he's done in this game, the kind of person he is. He's a superstar and he doesn't act like it. A lot of people have lost respect for people like Giambi. I can't judge him for what he did. I don't even know him that well, but I enjoy talking to him over at first base...He's a very good ballplayer. He plays hard. He plays with passion, and what's happened to him right now is [that] he seems to be the bull's-eye."

Trot "can't judge him for what he did"? Well, we've mentioned Trot as a possible 'roider my book this adds to that possibility considerably. I guess it's possible Trot's such a nice guy that he honestly feels bad for Giambi -- face it, the guy's life sucks right now -- but I sort of doubt it, given all the stuff he sad about A-Rod.

4) So as you all know, I sort of like Brian Cashman. I think he's actually a fairly decent GM, and I really respect anyone who can take the kind of punishment he must get on a daily basis by working for Steinbrenner. But I have to say, I found his quote about Giambi rather disgusting: "The biggest thing he needs to do now is just not duck. There's a controversy that surrounds him. He just needs to face it head-on. There's no other way. You can't run and hide." Given the flap about the steroid language in the contract (it's now official: Chass was correct), right now no one in the Yankees management, least of all Cashman, has any right offering someone advice about facing something "head-on" and "not ducking". Pretty annoying.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I hate to change such a good subject

Two interesting things from today's globe:

Timing is everything: HBO's Armen Keteyian did a segment titled "Steroids in Major League Baseball" for "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" on Oct. 10, 2000. It remains topical today, even though it didn't get a lot of attention when it aired. The report featured two players, the Rangers' Chad Curtis and Gabe Kapler, who stood up against performance-enhancing substances and took drug tests for the program.

Interesting - I would have thought Kapler among the more likely juicers.

Second item:

Mo Vaughn, appearing with Steve Burton and Michael Smith on WEEI Friday morning, indirectly connected former Red Sox teammate Nomar Garciaparra with steroid usage. Vaughn noted that when you get big and have those kinds of injuries (wrist, heel) at a young age, you open yourself up to questions.

I think someone here has speculated - I'll check the archives.

Monday, February 14, 2005

In other news....

This 'roid obsession is getting me down. Of course the league knew what was going on, but they'll never admit to what extent and it certainly isn't as bad as Jose says it is but it's still pretty bad.

At this point which sport isn't riddled with rampant 'roid use? I am sure there as many players in the NFL on 'roids. The only difference is that they have to be more careful to cover it up (easier to do with a longer off-season).

Anyway, this is not what I wanted to post. I wanted to post something that says there is still hope in the baseball universe for young aspiring studs like Johan... I think the kid has earned it and it's great to see the Twins are investing in him rather than putting him on the market.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Tempest in a Teapot?

Murray Chass has a followup article in which he describes a conference call between three Yankees bigwigs (Levine, Cashman, Rubenstein) and him.

So first off, they admit he is technically correct -- the word "steroids" was in fact struck from the contract. But they say the word was "illustrative", not specific, and other news organizations are quoting Levine saying they expanded the language.

Secondly, they quoted from the contract! (Apparently they weren't allowed to fax it but could read it over the phone.) They wouldn't have to pay him if he couldn't play because of physical impairment or mental incapacity "directly due to or approximately caused by...the intentional use or abuse of any type of illegal substance."

Okay, so steroids clearly fall under that category. So Chass's original article is a non-story, right? I'm not so sure. Two things:

1) If their eliminating of the word "steroids" allowed them to expand the language of the contract, did they do the same to their other big-name signings? Sheffield? Mussica? RJ? If not, why do it to only Giambi?

2) The "illegal substance" clause, is, of course, full of loopholes. The MLBPA lawyers would be all over it ("How do you know the pituitary gland tumor was in any way related to alleged steroid use?"), and no way could the Yanks get out of the $80M they owe. So what exactly did the clause they eliminated (the one with the word "steroids") say? If leaving it in would've made it any easier for the Yanks to stop paying Giambi, they're guilty of (a) looking the other way or (b) stupidity. This is just speculation of course, but I'd like to see the text before letting the Yankees off the hook.

In any case, I ask again: what is up with Murray Chass? He used to be for the Yankees what Fox News is for the Bush Administration: mouthpieces who thinks their subject can Do No Wrong. Now he's their biggest headache. What happened? I see three possibilities:

1) the HOF selection made him realize he maybe should graduate from being a provincial small-minded cheerleader;
2) Olney -- 25 years his junior and once seen as his successor at the Times -- is now making the Big Bucks;
3) His terrible record of predictions during the 2004 season ("Even if the Red Sox somehow come back against the Yankees, they will somehow find a way to fail in the World Series.")

Any others?

More good Canseco stuff

A quote from the new book:

On the players' association: "I believe that plenty of people within the Players Association must have known exactly which players were on steroids. And they did not care. If all you care about is hiking up players' salaries, why would you try to stop the steroid groundswell? Don't rock the boat. Think about it this way: If Don Fehr really believed that his players weren't doing steroids, wouldn't he have said: Okay, let a true drug testing program begin? Nothing like the joke we had during the 2004 season, for example."

I love the last sentance - nothing like the joke WE had during the 2004 season. Um, what we is he talking about? He hasn't played in the majors since 2001. Sorry Jose, there is no we. Only you and them.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Website of the month

Okay, this is also (only slightly) off-topic, but this site is really really awesome. Make sure the sound on your computer is on.

Another non-story

Okay, going slightly off topic here.

How is this a stroy. He hasn't played in 8 months. Hell his non-retirement has already been longer than Roger's retirement. Usually when these guys "retire" they are right back playing real soon. So even though he says he is retiring, maybe he will be back with San Antonio before the season is over. One added benefit of that is there a lots of little Mexican girls there for him to hunt.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Murray Chass has some serious inside baseball reporting today. The whole thing's worth a read, but here are the key sentences:

"A person with knowledge of [Giambi's] contract said that before they signed off on his seven-year, $120 million deal, the Yankees acquiesced to Giambi's request and removed all references to steroids from the guarantee language routinely included in contracts.

"They wanted Giambi badly enough that they relinquished the right to suspend him or stop payment on the contract or terminate the contract or convert it into a nonguaranteed contract if he was found to use steroids."

As far as I know, this is the first time this has been reported. Is that right? If so, it's stunning that it took the sports media 2+ months (since the grand jury testimony leaking) to find this out and/or report it.

This is probably a good thing.

Apparently Reggie Jackson wanted to buy the A's. Or at least be part of a group that will do so.

Had this happened, I could imagine this scenario in a couple years.

George S: Hey old Yankee, how you doing?

Reggie: Great Boss, I just wish we were not 12 games behind the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

George S: Yeah, that is unfortunate for you. What do you think it would take for us to get Danny Haren or Rich Harden.

Reggie: Haren. Harden. Heck, you can have 'em both. I always got those guys confused anyway. Maybe you could send us Jaret Wright if you pay $7.5 million of his contract, I mean you guys don't really use him since he proved he can't handle NY. And how about whatever other prospects you guys have left.

George S: [gargled noise]

Reggie: What's that George, you don't have any prospects left? That's okay. Maybe you could include a player to be named later. Or maybe just some more of that green stuff.

In response to Dave/Thomas...

...who opened up a new thread in the last Comments section...

Pretty good article in the Times about the Giambi press conference. Mostly because of the really hot Victoria's Secret ad banners.

Hot naked women aside, even YES won't be broadcasting the press conference live.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What the???

Now I love Pedro for what he did in Boston...I think every Red Sox fan does. But, why would he choose to show up to camp 10 days early this year as opposed to showing up late when he was with Boston?

I am not going to bash the guy. That's not my style (*unless the player is a Yankee). Is it possible that he is more committed to winning now that he is a Met? it a show for all his old fans? Or...did he learn something from Schilling? Or...did he get a taste of the REAL good life from winning a championship and he is now making that his biggest priority with the Mets.

My guess is that Pedro knows there is a lot expected out of him in NY. My guess is also that he wants to be the big star again (since he lost that status with the arrival of Schilling). New York offers this to him. He has the chance to steal the headlines from the Yankees on a continuous basis if he lights up the NL, not just when the Sox and Yankees play. He gets a fresh start. I can see where this might lead him to a decision of heading to the Mets, of showing up early at camp.

With that said, it builds a little ill will in my town. I mean, as awesome as he was when here, he never showed outwardly this kind of commitment. He would light up Fenway when he pitched. No doubt about that. But he'd leave after. He'd never come to camp early. He'd leave around the All-Star break.

As a fan this is confusing...What's up, Pedro?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


This is some serious commitment to your team.

Another Sox First Baseman

The Red Sox on Tuesday signed first baseman Roberto Petagine to a one-year, $750,000 contract.

Petagine, 33, is a left-handed hitter and an excellent defensive first baseman who will try to take the place of Doug Mientkiewicz, recently traded to the Mets. Last season, he went .291 with 29 homers in Japan.

Interesting move. My guess is that McCarty can't be too thrilled signing that minor league contract at his age knowing the Sox are looking to fill the void before he's brought up.

But, this Petagine looks like a good glove guy with a little pop for very little money. Of course, there's the chance he won't make the opening day lineup...

So much for clearing things up at first base. If you look at Millar's off-season quotes, he didn't want to be splitting time at first with Mient. Looks like he will be the 1-7th inning guy with Petagine or McCarty cleaning up.

I am going on record now. The Sox will win more than 100 games this year...

Monday, February 07, 2005


"Boston, a city once haunted by a cursed baseball team and an irrelevant football team, has been rendered the hub of the professional sports universe in the new millennium."


Book Review - With a thanks to Jesse

I had absolutely no intention of reading Olney's book about the Yankees and their crumpled dynasty. Actually the book was basically about Game 7 2001 but as it went inning by inning, it gave an in depth look at many of the players, coaches, etc.

I don't think there was anything terribly revealing (there were some good stories that I had not heard, but much of it was stuff we all saw and probably remember) and I probably would have not been able to stomach it if the Red Sox were not the World Champions. In fact, there is no way in hell I would have read it. That being said, it was interesting and entertaining. Olney lays some serious smack down on Steinbrenner, which of course never gets old.

Weekend reading

This Canseco stuff is great. I can think of nothing more irrelevant. Yet, it will get media play for about a week after the book comes out. Obviously he will make himself available to every media outlet to promote it, etc. It could be pretty comical.


"The bible of sports," is how he described it to Jeff Miller of the Orange County Register. "It will break records for a sports book. It will be a bestseller and not just here but all over the world. Japan. China. We're getting good reaction from all over. It will be the greatest sports book ever."

How classic is that - the greatest sports book ever. And the scary thing is that he probably believes it. And when it doesn't sell, it will be because of some conspiracy by either the people who track sales or the media.

Unrelated from the Post or the News:

The Red Sox, despite their payroll, actually think Stern (drafted away from Atlanta) has a strong chance to stick as an extra outfielder, though the Canadian Olympian did not play above Double-A last year. One scout, who liked Stern's athleticism, nevertheless said, "I have heard some Lenny Dykstra comparisons. I don't buy it. This guy is more Darren Bragg. A good fourth outfielder."

Saturday, February 05, 2005

I think I should move to Detroit

File this under ridiculous.

So now they have singed two people this winter coming off injury to contracts that seem a bit high. But at least with Percival, a two year deal is not crippling if it goes bad. I know Detroit had some money to spend, but in that division and park I have to believe they would have been better signing a pitcher at a premium (D Lowe or maybe Odalis Perez - hell even a Kevin Millwood).

I know I'm just an accountant, but sometimes I have to wonder about the people running MLB franchises. And Dombrowski has led a team to WS title before, so maybe I'm the fool who thinks just b/c I have done okay in a fantasy baseball league......

Friday, February 04, 2005

The NL Breakdown

Ok, so here is my take on the NL....I promise you that this will be a mess (as I have no idea about the NL)....

NL East- This will be a tight division. The difference between 2, 3, and 4 will be less than 8 games.
Braves- Why not? It seems as though they can have anyone pitch for them, and pitch well.
Mets- Their lineup is fairly potent. They have speed and power. They have Pedro. This takes the burden off Glavine. Pedro and Glavine will help the young guys along.
Florida- Better than the Phillies.
Phillies- Leiber is not the answer...They never seem to get it quite right.
Montreal- Sorry, I mean DC or Washington or...What I really mean is LAST PLACE.

NL Central
Cards- Why shouldn't they win the division again?
Chicago- The should have better health luck pitching-wise this year. Nomar will break out. They lost Sammy, but that might not be such a bad thing.
Houston- Some good arms, but Beltran helped them a ton last year. His absence will be felt.
Pittsburgh- Young team. Guy with a mullet. They should move up a notch this year.
Cincinnati- Terrible.
Milwaukee- They will lose their best starter in a long time at mid-season. LAST PLACE.

NL West
Giants- Thanks to the fall of the Dodgers...How many IBBs will Bonds get this year when he shows up to camp a little older, a little slower, and having lost 10 pounds of "water weight".
San Diego- Young team. Solid team. They lost Wells, but they'll be good.
Los Angeles- From first to third. Let Beltre go...I just don't think they're going to be good.
Rockies- Still bad..
D-Backs- Lost Randy Johnson...Could it be that they lose more games this year? LAST PLACE.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The AL Breakdown

Some quick thoughts on why the ALCS will be the Sox and Yankees again.

The AL East
WS CHAMPS- Sox...They will vie for the East. They will at least get the Wild Card.
Orioles...Added Sosa and forgot, yet again, that a team needs pitching. Here's to Sidney Ponson...
Blue Jays...Lost Delgado...Halladay and Lilly aren't enough... reason needed...

AL Central
Twins...Should win the division again.
White Sox...Will make it interesting (as far as that division goes) but the Twins win 86 games and take the Central.
Indians...They'll be as good as they were last year.
Tigers. They'll keep improving, but I think they have a way to go.
Royals...See D-Rays...

AL West
Angels should win the division
A's gave up two of the big three and KEPT ZITO!
Rangers could finish in second
Seattle has a long way to go after last season (even with some offseason additions)

Anyway...that gives us the Sox, Yankees, Twins, and Angels...Then it goes to some pitching...Sox and Yankees there (although Twins could still be tough in a short series with Santana and Radke). Angels are still going with their rotation that didn't do the trick last year.

That leads us to the rubber match. Sox/Yankees. Schilling vs Johnson in a Game 7 showdown...Of course, that is if it goes 7...Sox will have the money and prospects to land a big starter at the deadline...

Anyone really see a dark horse team coming in here?

Random Stuff

1) Here's an interesting take on all the recent stuff going on with A-Rod (scroll down to the Feb 1 post). I never thought about it, but he makes a good point: A-Rod was pretty great in the playoffs (well, except for a couple games), and Jeter...wasn't. And yet only one of them gets all the blame. A-Rod accepts it, Jeter doesn't. Of course, this neglects The Slap, which is huge, but still.

2) From the all-too-rare department: a sports columnist -- from New York! -- goes back to something he wrotes years ago and admits he was way off. The lines when Belichik quit the Jets were classic: "Belichick was just another hustler, another football coach on the make like Parcells, only not as good." Of course he takes some other columnists down with him. The best is "Jets fans should be breathing a sigh of relief today. They should consider themselves fortunate, very fortunate, that Bill Belichick isn't the head coach of their football team."

3) Earlier we were talking about players making a huge deal of no-trade clauses, when it's really about the money. Well, Delgado managed to combine both those considerations into one! Pretty sneaky.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Old topic. New thread. Part II

Okay, so Jesse has been on a "NL = cozy park" theme of late. Where cozy parks = many HRs.

This one I had an opinion on - not a stong one, but an opinion and my opinion was the AL had the cozy parks (camden yards, texas, comiskey, Fenway - even though I KNOW the numbers say otherwise) and the ptichers parks are in the NL (LA, Pac Bell, SD, FLA).

So again. Lets go to the numbers. Park affect statistics for 2004.

Based on runs scored.

Colorado 1.412
Texas 1.217
White Sox 1.139
Toronto 1.128
Chicago (NL) 1.123
Fenway 1.12
Camden 1.077
PacBell 1.069
Arizona 1.068
Minnesota 1.045
Milwaukee 1.042
Philly 1.024
Oakland 1.012
Houston 1.004
Atlanta 0.991
New York (NL) 0.974
Anaheim 0.972
Cleveland 0.96
St. Louis 0.936
Detroit 0.923
New York (AL) 0.922
Pittsburgh 0.918
Tampa 0.911
KC 0.91
LA 0.909
Montreal 0.899
FLA 0.898
Cincy 0.847
SD 0.837
Seattle 0.834

Clearly the NL has the better pitchers parks. But this does not equal cozy parks in terms of HRs - after all, the aforementioned Fenway is a hitters park (with 12 % more runs scored there) but it has 2.4% less HR than the average park.

So, pure rankings for HR.

White Sox 1.402
Chicago (NL) 1.329
Arizona 1.29
Colorado 1.235
Philly 1.134
Atlanta 1.128
Toronto 1.117
Oakland 1.089
Texas 1.087
Houston 1.075
Anaheim 1.062
Camden 1.05
Cincy 1.048
Seattle 1.033
NY (AL) 1.029
LA 1.016
Tampa 1.007
FLA 0.987
Milw 0.981
Fenway 0.974
Minnta 0.925
PacBell 0.899
Pitts 0.876
Detroit 0.871
Mont 0.85
NY (NL) 0.804
St.L 0.798
Cleve 0.742
KC 0.706
SD 0.691

Two things jumped out at me.
1. Colorado was not number one?
2. Jesse was right!!

Colorado is a good place for HR as we all know, but their hitters hit them both at home (111) and on the road (91) and their pitchers give them up in both places (110/88). Whereas the White Sox hit 145 HR at home (and pitchers gave up 127) (interesting in that there were far more gross HRs hit in CWS than Coors) and hit only 97 (and allowed 97) on the Road. Led by Konerko with a 29/12 H/R split and Frank Thomas 14/4.

And while the sum in each league does equal 1.00 thus effectively negating the effects of all park affects in the aggregate (yes it sounds stupid but is true), there is a large enough gap in the standard deviation to make a difference for individual hitters (i.e., Bonds and Beltre while playing mid to tough parks get to play almost 25% of their games in AZ and Colorado), let alone the slugger (say Thome)who plays half his games in Philly and 20 more in ATL.

One last thing I did was divide Park affect runs by park affect HRs, which would yield parks with a disproportionate share of their runs being scored via the HR. That analysis gave no real trend by league and I had trouble drawing a correlation about what it meant.

Good call Jesse.

Old topic. New thread.

Over the weekend there was discussion of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the AL versus the NL. After reaching some sort of consensus on movement this winter, I had it on my agenda to look at which league was better in 2004.

As Jesse pointed out, there were many factors to consider. Interleague play. Red Sox domination over the 105 win cardinals. etc.

I tried to construct a model that would attempt to evaluate which league is stronger and I could not come up with any approach that I thought appropriate.

Among the things I looked at:

Interleague play - records virtually identical and run differential of 42 (in approximately 200 games, thus insignificant. Plus the differences in the rules seemed unfair to both teams.

Unlike the other sports, the sample sizes and rule differences make it impossible to draw conclusions based on head to head play.

World Series - The Sox killed the Cards and we are to widely assume that the Yanks would have done the same. The Cards won 105 games - I tried to analyze their record against teams with winning records, play off teams, winning pitchers. None of that worked - they were good.

I looked at runs scored and allowed, but could not determine how much of that was determined by DH - subtracting runs created by DHs in the AL and runs created by pitchers in the NL, I was again even steven - within 0.057%.

Pitching - can't really do much there (obviously) less runs in NL equals lower ERA.


So then ignoring the top of the leagues, where the Sox/Yanks appeared to have an advantage over the Cards (the only teams with winning percents over .600), the AL did have two teams below .400 versus one for the NL. Teams over .550 less than .600 - you guessed it 4 for the NL, 3 for the AL with each league having one at .549. Pretty damned close.
I was trying to show something about the standard deviation, but that really did not help - 13.0 in the AL and 13.6 in NL (mostly due to the AZ 51 win season - if you remove AZ and KC - the two lowest - SD is virtually identical at 11.6).

The last thing I did which doesn't really prove anything, but I though was worth noticing - even though it didn't show up in any stats.

Red Sox won the wild card - and only 3 teams were within 14 games of them and none within 7.

Houston won the wild card - and 5 teams were within 9 games.

So I wasted a few hours trying to determine which league was better - but could come up with nothing. Anyone have any other ideas?

More on Eagles and Patriots

I guess we have the blog set up to archive monthly, so our previous thread is no longer viewable. Anyway, here's an interesting article in today's NY times about the two different approaches the super bowl teams are taking.

My favorite comment was Kearse's observation that his teammates were behaving likes kids with all of their camcorders!